Gambling and Debt: Keep Calm and Take It Step by Step


Is gambling considered a mental illness?

Compulsive gambling is classified as an impulse-control disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. The main symptoms include: constantly thinking about gambling, inability to stop, prioritising gambling over all other aspects of one’s life, lying about it, borrowing money to keep playing, and gambling more with the goal of retrieving lost money.

Compulsive gambling is often accompanied by depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or personality disorders.

How do you help a gambling addict?

First and foremost, don’t forget to take care of yourself while helping someone else. If you get too exhausted to function, you won’t be of any use to either of you. Be open to communication.

Don’t shut the person out, even if you feel resentment. They need love and support to get better. For those living with an addict, taking over money management is one of the best ways to prevent relapses.

How can you tell if someone has a gambling problem?

If you suspect that someone has a gambling problem, pay attention to their finances. They might be selling their possessions, frequently borrowing money, or not paying their bills so they can cover their gambling debts.

They may ask to borrow money from you or steal it from your purse or wallet. Compulsive gamblers often isolate themselves. They seem unhappy and agitated. Look for inconsistencies in their behaviour and in the stories they tell you. They are bound to make an error covering up their tracks.

Can gambling cause depression?

Moderate gambling is not harmful to you in any way. However, gambling that has gotten out of hand and turned into a compulsion or addiction can most certainly cause both anxiety and depression.

Severe cases can even lead to suicidal thoughts, especially when there is gambling debt involved. If you are feeling overwhelmed by a gambling compulsion, please seek help as soon as possible.